OUR VIEW: Renewed call for transit system

The City of Grand Forks is pushing towards completion of its Sustainable Community Plan (SCP). Its aim is to provide the city with a plan to ensure a viable and healthy future that not only addresses future needs but present ones as well.

The City of Grand Forks is pushing towards completion of its Sustainable Community Plan (SCP).

Its aim is to provide the city with a plan to ensure a viable and healthy future that not only addresses future needs but present ones as well.

It will address various components of sustainability – social, economy, environment and culture.

Work for the SCP began in 2007, when the city applied for funding through the Integrated Community Sustainability Planning program (ICSP), which originates from the 2005 Gas Tax Agreement, which provides an element of irony.

Part of the plan seeks to “promote and provide alternative modes of transportation” and a number of people in the city get around in what the report calls SOV or the single occupant vehicle – the report calls the SOV the most common mode of transportation.

Some of the alternative modes of transportation mentioned in the report include walking, cycling and transit.

Switching to other transportation methods will cut down on greenhouse gas emissions coming from SOVs, or all vehicles for that matter, and walking and cycling are certainly good alternatives but they aren’t necessarily the most practical.

For residents who live in the outlying areas of Grand Forks, a walk to the downtown core or even to the grocery store can be quite a lengthy trek.

Cycling is a good, green/environmentally-friendly mode of transportation; a good mode of transportation until the winter, that is.

Road conditions change drastically in the winter months and with ice and slush, safety can be a concern.

It’s time for the city to make a real push in order to establish a regular transit system that residents can use to get around and not the limited one currently in use.

The report makes mention of promoting the development of a regionally-based conventional transit system and members of council have been in contact with BC Transit in the past but with the city aiming for carbon neutrality by January 2012, a transit system could be a way of helping with that.

Part of the SCP also states that the city has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 33 per cent from 2007 to 2030.

There has been a lot of talk about cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions; let’s see some action.

– The Grand Forks Gazette